Turning away from Depression
I’ve managed an international college for over 20 years and have had thousands of students come and go. In that time I’ve had numerous students come and talk with me. Just Google “crimes against international students in Australia” and you’ll understand the things that we dealt with.
Depression was always there. Gut-wrenching negativity and fear. Slit wrists. Escape into drug fuelled benders. Retaliation. Fear.
And my students weren’t alone in their depression. According to the data published by the World Population Review, 1 in every 15 adults in any given year, and 1 in 6 people will experience depression at some point in their lives.
Little wonder that the Bible talks a lot about depression and fear starting from the very beginning of the Bible with Cain, depressed because his brother’s sacrifice pleased God and his didn’t. Even the last book of the Bible talks about depression - eternal depression, weeping and wailing, for those who reject God (Rev 20:10).
When you think about it, depression is actually a breakdown in your relationship with God.
Look at the prophet Jeremiah: so depressed he wished he hadn’t been born. (Jer. 15:10).
It wasn’t financial depression (v10) , or because of spiritual abandonment (V16-17) or because of involvement in immorality (V12-14) but because Jeremiah was warning of impending doom for a godless Judah with a Babylonian invasion and for that he received unending insults and rejection day in and day out (v7-8). He was walking in God’s will and he was depressed.
Jeremiah saw God as a brook that had failed him (Jer. 15:18). What would you say to Jeremiah? How do you think God should answer him?
Surprisingly, God told him to repent! To return:
“If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman.” (v19 NIV).
To look at things in perspective and trust God. God will work things out. To look at God and not the circumstances.
I need to remember those words. When things look overwhelmingly bad. When I get impatient. When I feel frustrated. When I see God not answering prayers in my time. When I think I know more than God.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Prov. 3:5 KJV).
Here's a recent sermon on this topic that you may enjoy.